Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Visit with Oma & Opa...

We went down to central Florida on Thursday, 7/19, to visit Paul's parents. After much delay [*much* delay...tire shops, traffic, construction, dinner, potty ;)] we finally arrived a bit before midnight - when they're only about 7hrs away.

Friday we went to Sea World - where Kathy and Dick [aka Oma and Opa] work part-time this summer. Kathy works in ticketing, while Dick drives the parking tram. They had tickets for all of us to go. At $65/adults and $55/children 3+, we probably would not have gone any time soon - though going when 2 of yours are younger than 3yrs old, thus not needing a ticket, is probably a plus! So much thanks to them for such a gift!

We saw three spectacular shows - the dolphin/whale show, the seal/otter show and the Shamu show...jam packed with Orkas. It really amazed all of us how they train these creatures of the sea to do all these tricks. I have to admit I had chills for all of the shows. The music that accompanied the shows probably had a lot to do with that - very impacting! Something which I did not know is that Sea World is an Anheuser-Busch park [like Busch Gardens] - so they have in the park a restaurant which serves *free* cups of beer. Paul liked this show best of all ;) They also have outside the restaurant the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales...*but* in the stable, what took the cake, was the donkey from that famous Super Bowl commercial. He was the sweetest-faced prettiest donkey hands down.On our way out of the park we saw the water roller coaster and decided to take advantage of it...our last hoorah. John Paul and Sophia were tall enough to ride so we just left Joseph [who threw a tantrum the whole time we were gone...sorry Oma] and Charlie with Oma and Opa while the seven of us road in one "boat". I wish now that we would've bought the picture they take as you're going down a rollercoaster, because NOTHING was funnier than the faces on those kids! John Paul and Sophia, first-timers, had NO clue what they were in for - and after that first hill Sophia was ready to climb out of the boat! - so when the next and last hill came upon us they were petrified...well, I *know* Sophia was, Paul and I think John Paul liked the ride, but could've done without the water! [thanks, Opa ;)]

On Saturday we really just vegged out and enjoyed visiting. The little ones played in the sprinkler, Dani and I played frisbee [we got pretty good after a while!], movies were watched, books were read, and Hess trucks were abused. We went to Mass so we could leave Sunday morning. I had to add this picture of Charlie to show that he does indeed smile, and does so *all* the time, but none of the pictures I've posted here reflect that. He usually looks so....serious. So here is Charlie - amused by Dani.

Saturday night was pure entertainment as Oma displayed [in the hopes of pawning off!] her wardrobe to Kayla and Dani. We had two takers and - to Oma's dismay - only two items. Dani got her army-green short overalls [to go with all her beloved camo] and Kayla got a really nice sweater...just her style! For Paul and I it was entertainment at its finest! I will never forget that night as Oma was so cute and so funny! What a dear lady she is. We love her so much!

Thank you, Oma and Opa, for such a great time. Building memories for our children is such a treasure. God bless you!

Sunday morning we were off to Atlanta. We got back in great time and came home to a nice clean house and dinner cooking for us thanks to my sister, Karen, and my mom and dad. You are the best! Thank you so much for your generousity!

Our Little Artist...

Well, they're all artists in some form or another, but here I'm talking about Therese. She is following in the footsteps of her older sister, Kayla, with her drawing ability. Friday afternoon I downloaded "The Pagemaster" from Netflix so the kids could watch it on my computer. After the movie, Therese went upstairs to their computer while Dani put the movie on again for Joseph - who had just gotten up from his nap. Therese came downstairs a few times, watched the movie for a minute or two, then headed back upstairs. When the movie was over - Therese revealed what she had been working on:

Only if you know what these characters look like in the movie, can you truly appreciate Therese's "exact-ness" - even down to Fantasy's crooked wand! All of us were so amazed and gave much praise to our little sweetheart!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Splish Splash... were taking a bath, long about a Thursday night! At least our jetted tub gets some use! The kids really have a blast with all those bubbles. And just a little bit of bubbles go such a long way with the jets on. I was a little nervous last night after hearing this story from a lady at the pool Wednesday. So I turned off the jets when I washed their hair! At 300lbs per sq inch, I was hoping that they wouldn't lean on the drain. I don't know if the suction is that strong in the tub, but it *was* awfully powerful. Therese looked a little freaked out after I kept telling them "what ever you do, don't touch that. It'll suck your hair in and you won't be able to get it out." You could see her concern as she contemplated the risk!

Therese, the Ork

He keeps trying to convince us that he's an angel:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thank God I'm a Country Boy!! Yee Haw!!!

I'm so excited for my brother, Chris, and his fiance, Nina. First, they recently got engaged and the wedding date is tentatively March 8, 2008. Secondly, they both just moved to Houston from Philly a few weeks ago. My brother is a pediatric cardiologist - who just finished his fellowship in catheterization [for the past year he has been doing a lot of research on pigs' hearts]. He is done with "schooling/training" at 36 yrs old and we couldn't be prouder! Nina, also a doctor, is a pediatric endocrinologist [diabetes, growth issues, etc.] They both got positions at Texas Childrens Hospital - which is part of Baylor College of Medicine. So Chris and Nina rented an apartment - with a 7 month lease - in the hopes of getting to know the area first before buying. Well *that* didn't take long. They close on their first Texan home - Aug. 23! It is a beautiful spacious pad for these two docs! Take a look. Sincerely -congratulations you two. All that blood, sweat, tears and time has really paid off. We love you!

Power of Motherhood...

This was Charlie last night after his bath. I brushed his hair so that it would dry as "muppet hair". He was having fun with this photo-shoot of 20 or so pictures!And this was Charlie when he woke up from his afternoon nap today:
Pink eye! [Newman!] My poor guy. I used a nice warm washcloth to wipe away the gunky and crusty stuff [these words are used much in motherhood...go figure!]. So I looked online to do some good 'ol research and came upon this homeopathic remedy! Who knew? Not I! So, we'll see how that works! If it does - sure beats driving to the peds, getting a prescription filled...blah, blah, blah. This is better than clipping a coupon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where is the Real War?

Some might think that it's in the Middle East. Not so. The real war has an obscene amount of casualties.

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Pray for an end to abortion!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Saturday Road Trip ~ part II

Trying to get the hang of posting pictures on certain posts, this is a continuation. So if you'd like to read the first part...go down a couple posts to get to the beginning.... I was saying....

When we got done golfing, they gave the kids some pirate hats. Aren't they cute!?
[Charlie is sporting his on the post below - taken by Dani]

We ate dinner at a restaurant which was right on the river. We sat outside on the deck overlooking it. It was pretty cool to see all the folks tubing down as we ate ~ some, not so much...eating or not! Charlie had his first lemon while we sat waiting for our order. The video we captured of that is really funny! Unlike Therese at that age...eating the WHOLE slice of lemon - peel and all! No grimace or anything. Nut.

Pink Tubes for Rent!!

When in Rome!

We ate ice-cream [Joseph and!], took a carriage ride and then we were off...heading home at 9pm. As we were driving I saw a sign that said "Atlanta" this way, which was a different way than the way we came. So Paul turned around and said, "Well, maybe this is a quicker way home". Oh, how those words would haunt us!!

The girls petting "Cadillac Jack" [not the horse who pulled us, however] - Kayla striking a pose

We drove, and drove, oh, and drove some more. Until it dawned on Paul where we were and how out-of-the-way we were! With Charlie screaming for a *solid* 2hrs - stressful is an understatement. Since Aunt Karen was sitting right next to him, she was the guilty party - in Charlie's eyes. I can only imagine what was going through his baby mind..."Why aren't you picking me up!!?? You're right there, Lady! I've been crying for hours! Hold me, hold me, HOLD ME!!" or something like that. Since I'm so easily amused, it struck me as funny as I recalled how Paul said "Well, maybe this is a quicker way". So with Paul dreading this drive, Charlie screaming, kids bickering...I turned around to Karen and struck this pose of a t-shirt we had seen at Helen! Hey, we had to keep it fun, right Karen?!

We had such a great time. And I think we all thanked God for the unusually beautiful July weather - as well as some wonderous mountainous views!


Okay, while other 7.5mo olds are truckin' around crawling all over and pulling themselves up on furniture and trying to climb the dreaded stairs ~ I am singing praises over Charlie's newest milestone. Yesterday while he was trying to make his way to a ball he was playing with, he flopped over on his belly and with some highly skilled maneuvering he sat back up!! Yay, Charlie! Good job. Your mommy is proud!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saturday Road Trip...!! July 14, 2007

Paul and I decided to take a day and go to north Georgia. After much "where should we go" we decided on Helen, GA. We had not been there in 15 yrs - so 6 kids later we were due for a visit. Just a little Clavinism ~ Helen was named after a railroad surveyor's daughter in 1913!

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains - right up 400 - Helen has so much to offer its visitors - from putt-putt, tubing down the 'Hooch, exhibits of live black bears...oh, and of course your run-of-the-mill tattoo parlors and Nascar shops! No thank you ;)

So we arrived - with our jam-packed Excursion full of our kiddos and Aunt Karen - around 3pm. If you didn't know that it was the middle of July, you would've thought it was October...the weather was *that* beautiful. Thank you, God ;) oh! Let me also add that upon entering the town we passed a shop that had a mural of Kateri Tekakwitha - I believe it was pretty much the whole front of the little shop. After pointing it out, it also dawned on Karen that it was also her feast day! A little smile from God! How cool. We were joking that the first time we came and saw that Indian woman -BC [before conversion, although it was actually a REversion...a kick in the pants!] - we were probably saying something like this, "Hey look, it's Pocahontas!"

We went into some of the shops along the strip. I was kind of bummed because the Christmas shop is one of the highlights there and it moved to a house which hadn't opened yet. Oh well.

Putt-putt anyone?
Well, some of us were more serious about putt-putting than others!

Friday, July 6, 2007

What's for Dinner?

~Week of July 8th~

SUNDAY: Stuffed Shells

Chicken and Dumplin's

TUESDAY: Wrapped Hotdogs [hey, dh is OOT *and* it's MNO!!]

WEDNESDAY: Mama's Mac-n-Cheese

Baked Penne Pasta

Salmon Patties and Dill Carrots

SATURDAY: Meatloaf and Grilled potatoes/onions

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Do You Bumbo?

Our neighbor was so excited to let us borrow one of her "bumbo seats" for Baby Charlie - then 5 months old. She said that when her twin girls used them that she could easily get 30mins free time. I must say that these little seats work great. They totally conform to the baby. As long as the baby can hold his head up, he can sit in this seat. Although I'm lucky to get 30 seconds of free time out of this contraption - this invention is truly COOL! Plus, Charlie looks so darn adorable looking up at we whiz by him! You can see him pleading for someone to *save* him! LOL! A minute later...he's back in our arms. Oh well!